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|Everyone's ready to ski!|
My good friend Kim owns a vacation home in Sunriver, a resort town just south of Bend. She was nice enough to invite me to stay with her family for some skiing over St. Patrick's Day weekend. Yep - if it involves skiing, I'm there!
Friday morning, I drove solo from Portland, planning to head straight to Mt. Bachelor. My goal was to get up really early and complete the 4 hour drive in time for the 9 am lift opening. Well....I overslept and missed that by about an hour and a half. But after crossing over the mountains, the clouds and rain disappeared. On the road just west of Bend, I glimpsed snow-capped mountains rising up to a clear blue sky. Sunny day on the mountain? Yippee! Excited to ski in the sun, I put the hammer down. (Good thing there weren't any cops around!)
I arrived to a beautiful sunshiny day on Mt. Bachelor. Excited, I grabbed my telemark skis and headed for the lift. My arrival was timed perfectly - the sun's rays had just begun to soften the icy snow.
It was a blissful day. The snow was soft and silky smooth. The sun warm and bright. I made dozens of perfect tele turns as I traveled down the mountain. Ahhh....my edges cut the snow like butter. On the lift rides up I chilled out, enjoying the warmth and beautiful scenery. I made the mistake of leaving my camera in the car, so there are no photos to document this wonderful day. But sometimes it's nice to just concentrate on skiing.
|Kim comes flying down the slope!|
I skied through lunch and well into the afternoon, before my legs finally let me know they'd had enough. So I packed up and headed down the mountain to Kim's fabulous house. After a hot shower, and good dinner with lots of wine, I drug my tired body into bed and slept like a rock.
|Deschutes Brewery had an interesting vehicle|
What a difference a day makes! The weather report predicted changes in store for Saturday. A big storm was heading in, dropping both temperatures and precip. After a warm blue-sky Friday, it was a huge shock to arrive back at Bachelor to overcast skies and cold wind.
|Kim dancin' to the music|
Kim and I were joined by Tamie (aka "the Unknown Celebrity Skier") and her husband John. We donned our skis and bundled up against the chilly weather. The wind was roaring as we rode the lift to the top.
Yesterday's wonderful soft snow was now frozen hard as a rock. Although we stuck to the groomers, it didn't take long for the snow to be skied off, revealing slippery ice below.
|Other folks were REALLY getting into it!|
Such a disappointment! The snow was lousy, the weather cold and miserable, the visibility nil on the top half of the mountain. And it that wasn't enough, every lift we got on, seemed to stop at least once. By early afternoon, and after the chair we were riding stopped for the third time since we'd boarded it, Kim declared she was done. She was heading to the lodge for some liquid refreshment. Battling sore quads and general fatigue from yesterday's ski-a-thon, I was easily persuaded to join her.
|I meet a leprechaun|
In honor of St. Patty's Day, Mt. Bachelor partnered with the Deschutes Brewery to provide patrons an outdoor beer garden. The brewery had brought up a cute little wooden trailer, shaped like a beer keg. Loud hip-hop music blared from speakers, and a guy dressed as a leprechaun danced around with some very inebriated young people. Kim and I clutched our cold beers with ski gloves and huddled around an outdoor fireplace. Not exactly a great day for enjoying cold beverages outside!
|By the end of the day it was dumping snow|
By now the predicted snow was dumping down in buckets. Although the white stuff was beginning to accumulate, after two days of skiing my body was toast. So I sat back, enjoyed my beer, and watched the snow fall. All in all, not a bad way to spend St. Patty's Day weekend.